Howard Macpherson

London

National trust properties are places where folks like Howard Macpherson can go and enjoy a bit of history. Maintained by a UK conservation charity, these properties are preserved and protected historic and natural places that are maintained and opened to the public. A place likely to be visited by someone like Macpherson is “A la Ronde.” An 18th century house that is quirky and unique, it has an unusual interior with intriguing decorations and collections.

With 16 sides, the interior has a feather frieze featuring feathers gathered from native game birds and chickens. These feathers are then stuck down and preserved with isinglass. Another unusual collection is the gallery, which is encrusted with an estimated 25,000 shells.

The house itself has an interesting history. Spinster cousins Jane and Mary Parminter lived there after returning home from a grand tour of Europe in the late 18th century. They filled the home with collections and mementoes of their travels.

Another example of a national trust property worth visiting is at Canons Ashby. A historic parkland, it has glimpses of early medieval landscapes throughout the grounds, as well as a priory church that depicts the story of the canons of Canons Ashby. This site was built using the remains of a medieval priory. It has been preserved as-is since 1710, when Victorian antiquary Sir Henry Dryden decided to see that it remain largely unaltered. Dryden was passionate about the past and preservation. Guests can now travel through a variety of grand rooms, which feature charming tapestries and Jacobean plasterwork. Servants’ quarters also remain preserved with great domestic detail.

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